Ephemeral Media


Award Holder

Dr Paul Grainge

Higher Education Institute

School of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham

The emergence of new media technologies in the 1990s and 2000s, specifically the rise of digital and Internet technology, has been linked to fundamental changes in the media environment. We are now living in a world where media seem available everywhere and all the time. This AHRC-sponsored workshop examines a particular feature of our accelerated media world - the growth of the brief or ‘ephemeral’ texts that exist beyond and between the films, television programmes, and radio broadcasts more commonly isolated for analysis.

What does ephemeral mean? In the context of the workshop it connotes short-form media (i.e. texts that are no more than a few minutes long) but also media which are fleeting in the way they circulate, or that are often overlooked within mainstream academic study. The workshop will focus on two particular examples of ephemeral media. The first workshop in the series will focus on what is sometimes called ‘user-generated’ content, in particular the kinds of ephemeral online video that are seen on sites such as YouTube. The second workshop will focus on the promotional ephemera used by media companies to capture the attention of audiences; it will consider short creative forms such as logos, promos, trailers and channel ‘idents’ as they have been used by such as film companies and television broadcasters to make themselves (and their products) seen and heard in a competitive media environment.

Together, the ephemeral media workshop will invite reflection on the significance of screen ephemera - on those forms of screen culture that, whilst momentary, remain active components of media experience. In investigating this area, the workshop will bring together academics as well as those involved in making the kinds of media in question.

23rd-24th June 2009
Internet Attractions: Online Video and User-generated ephemera

21st-22nd July 2009
The Promotional Surround: Logos, promos, idents, trailers

Full details can be found at:

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